|Ambesse TOLOSSA||Lyubov DENISOVA|
Ethiopia’s Ambesse Tolossa won the most heated and most physical men’s race in the history of the Honolulu Marathon.
Late in the race, Tolossa competed with five-time champion and course record holder Jimmy Muindi of Kenya like he was playing man-to-man defense in the final seconds of a close basketball game.
Late in the race, Tolossa clipped Muindi’s heels and almost ran him into the path of outgoing marathoners. At one point Muindi threw a sharp elbow at Tolossa to open up space.
But the Ethiopian finally surged past Muindi approaching the summit of Diamond Head Road and went on to win in 2:13:42.
A frustrated and angry Muindi finished second in 2:14:39, vowing to take back his title from Tolossa in 2007.
Lyubov Denisova, a 35-year-old native of Moscow who trains and lives in Gainesville, Fla., shocked the women’s field by eating up the rabbit, fellow Russian Olga Romanova, in the first two miles and running alone to a 2:27:19 course record.
A two-time winner of the Los Angeles Marathon (2002, 2005) Denisova was a late entry into the elite field, having paid for her own ticket and hotel expenses. Denisova had missed the New York City Marathon in November and her agent, Andrey Baranov, said Denisova believed she could win in Honolulu. So she took the gamble as an “uninvited” runner.
It paid off handsomely with a $67,000 payday, the most money ever won by a Honolulu Marathon champion. She was the first woman to win the newly established $40,000 first place prize. She also earned a $10,000 course record bonus and another $17,000 in time incentives.
10 Male Finishers
- Ambesse Tolossa, 29, Ethiopia, 02:13:42
- Jimmy Muindi, 33, Kenya, 02:14:39
- Eric Wainana, 33, Kenya, 02:16:08
- Araya Haregot, 25, Ethiopia, 02:16:59
- Eric Nzoiki, 28, Kenya, 02:17:10
- Takanori Fujii, 30, Japan, 02:25:13
- Nicholas Muindi, 23, Kenya, 02:25:26
- Tekeste Kebede, 25, Ethiopia, 02:26:16
- Makoto Yukitomo, 25, Honolulu , 02:29:30
- Shawn Brady, 30, Canada, 02:31:07
10 Female Finishers
- Lyubov Denisova, 35, Russia, 02:27:19
- Alevtina Biktimirova, 24, Russia, 02:29:42
- Eri Hayakawa, 25, Japan, 02:32:31
- Olesya Nurgalieva, 29, Russia, 02:36:02
- Albina Ivanova, 29, Russia, 02:39:44
- Elena Nurgalieva, 29, Russia, 02:41:15
- Namie Yamamoto, 26, Japan, 02:49:44
- Rika Umeyama, 31, Japan, 02:50:23
- Kaoru Akaki, 29, Japan, 02:54:02
- Yukiko Makihara, 20, Japan, 02:56:48